Thursday, August 11, 2011

a little viennese culture

queen maria theresa

german lesson for the day. lächerlich: ridiculous. (just came across that in our handy german-english dictionary. you're welcome.)

great afternoon at the kunsthistorisches museum yesterday. a tremendous collection of art and history set in a huge, wonderful, italian renaissance, purpose-built space to present all the spoils collected by the hapsburgs. as soon as we walk in we're hit with that feeling of "oh, THIS is why we come to these great old cities. THIS is where we need to be at this very moment." now, let's hit the bathroom before we start.

zoom in, bottom right-hand corner, that's durer
rubens for wall after wall in this place. the entire east side of the first floor is flemish, dutch and german paintings and this place goes on. one great detail about this museum is the number of soft couches thoughtfully placed in front of some of the largest paintings. we could sit for much longer than we could stand in front of one and take our time absorbing it. settling down in a town for a few weeks, with no need for the planning or scheming about where to go next (yet), has allowed us to settle in and not feel the press of time. perfect museum attitude and it paid off in spades. we moseyed our way through the east side, through rubens, dürer (amazing guy and a bit of an egotist, painting himself into several scenes of his painting), cranach, holbein... then, museum feet and hunger.

after some sacherwurst and water over to the west side where we moseyed again through caravaggio, titian, valasquez... it just went on. no hurry, no schedule, art and history handed to us in an incredible setting. five hours later we spilled out front to be greeted again by queen maria theresa waving thank you and goodbye.

beer time! off to a bar tipped off to us by daniel and dan, tucked in behind stephansdom called santo spirito. a step down into comfy, tiny pub with nothing but classical music over the stereo. great little capper to an afternoon.

is that neil young?

we made a new friend last night at dinner, too, and are headed out to her place at the end of the subway line for lunch and some afternoon wine drinking at a heuriger. will get a peek at how some austrians actually live, some tips on where to go in her country and a new friend. all good things.

1 comment:

  1. Traveling like a native is what makes a trip an exciting experience! Tourist traps are easy, but to immerse yourself in the "real" environment is what makes a trip memorable! Great post!